Self-proclaimed officials in the rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine say five people have been killed by mortar fire and more than 10 injured on the front line near government positions.

Fighting between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian government forces has been raging for two years, claiming more than 9,100 lives. The hostilities left large swathes of eastern Ukraine in rebel hands. Both the government and the rebels set up check-points on the front line, leaving thousands of people queuing for hours if not days to cross from one side to the other.

The rebels' Donetsk News Agency said Wednesday the victims were spending the night in their cars at the check-point hoping to cross the line in the morning. Ukrainian officials denied responsibility.